Sunday, February 17, 2008

Taxed By Kings, Flyers Hand Ducks Bill

When a team from Philadelphia makes "VENGEANCE" their slogan, believe it. The NHL, Anaheim Ducks and FSN West all do.

As is the custom when a West Coast or small market Canadian team plays in the east, the visiting broadcaster relies heavily on the home show for cameras, often employing only two of their own. Weekday games that begin at 4:00 PM don't usually generate much in terms of ratings. Broadcasters will likewise increase budgets for games within their local time zones when the audience is naturally larger.

Normally, a two-camera visiting NHL show will set up a tight (or iso) camera and a hand held. If the home show only uses one HH, the visiting show will put theirs at the near side corner opposite the home show's camera. The home show then adds the visiting HH feed to their compliment for replays and live cuts during action.

Back on January 29, the LA Kings took on the Flyers at Philly's Wachovia Center. CSN-Philadelphia was televising the game locally, with FSN West sending it back to Los Angeles. The Kings' show controlled two cameras and had individual feeds of CSN-Philly's.

However, the FSN West show opted to use two hard cameras instead of one hard and one HH. CSN-Philadelphia didn't appreciate giving all their camera feeds away without getting anything they felt was useful in return.

The game on the ice needed overtime to be decided and so did this new game being played in the offices.

And four days later on February 2, CSN-Philadelphia got their vengeance when the Anaheim Ducks came to town.

Although the Ducks were nothing more than innocent bystanders, their games are broadcast by FSN-Prime Ticket. In Southern California, FSN-Prime Ticket is to FSN West the equivalent of what ESPN2 is to ESPN nationally. Same company, different channel number.

CSN-Philly balanced the scales by only giving FSN-PT feeds of their game camera and the NHL-installed overheads above each goal. Caught in the crossfire, the Ducks' production team was left to make the best of what they had: the home show's game camera, their own tight, their own HH and two goal overheads.

Additionally CSN-Philly's actions were backed up by the NHL, which essentially means that two-camera visiting shows around the league will be sure to give a little back to their hosts.

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